FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toy Association Honors Senators Cassidy and Durbin with 2020 Champion of Play Awards
September 15, 2020 | The Toy Association presented its annual Champion of Play Awards to U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), who were recognized for their contributions to fighting the hidden dangers of counterfeit toys sold online. The awards were bestowed on Cassidy and Durbin during the Association’s Virtual DC Fly-In, which brings manufacturer and licensor members together with policymakers to discuss the industry’s concerns about fake toys in the marketplace.
"The work of Senators Cassidy and Durbin strives to ensure consumers are empowered with information they need to not only make smart online buying decisions but to protect innocent children from the illicit, knockoff toys lurking on a range of online marketplaces," said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “With our members meeting virtually with key offices on Capitol Hill this week, the annual awards also stand as an example of actionable proof of what can happen when our country’s leaders come together and take the time to listen to our industry’s concerns."
In March, the senators co-sponsored the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM) Act, which would require ecommerce marketplaces to vet “high volume” third party seller information and make seller information visible on product listings. The act expanded on the bipartisan Stop All Nefarious Toys in America Act (SANTA Act), previously introduced by Cassidy and subsequently supported by Durbin, which specifically targets children’s product third-party sellers. The legislation is a direct result of Toy Association advocacy informed through The Toy Association Intellectual Property Committee and the Intellectual Property Steering Committee.
“Americans who buy toys and other consumer products online deserve to know basic identifying information about who is selling them the products they use,” said Durbin. “Consumers also should have a way to contact a seller in case a product appears to be stolen, counterfeit, or dangerous to health and safety. The INFORM Consumers Act and the SANTA Act will help bring about greater online marketplace transparency and help keep consumers safe.”
“Americans deserve transparency in the online marketplace to protect their families from illegal and dangerous counterfeit goods. I appreciate this recognition from The Toy Association," said Cassidy. "I look forward to continue working with the Association and Sen. Durbin to keep our online marketplaces safe."
If passed, these bills would put into effect The Toy Association recommendations made in its Intellectual Property Committee’s white paper, “ The Real Threat of Fake Toys,” including increased vetting of third party seller information and improved consumer transparency. The living document continues to be updated with the input and direction of The Toy Association’s Intellectual Property Committee.
Members who wish to learn more about The Toy Association’s work to combat counterfeits can contact Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs.